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Van Wagner Aerial Blog

The Sky Is Your Canvas: Blimps and Banners Rule the Aerial Ad World

Posted by Van Wagner Aerial Media   Apr 11, 2014 3:32:00 PM

The sky is a vast blank canvas where brands can create an effective marketing campaign using aerial advertising.

Aerial advertising blimp

Many businesses never even consider incorporating this advertising channel, which is often a mistake since it's an effective way to get your message across to large audiences.

Here are three key reasons you want to consider adding these effective media into your own brand's marketing arsenal: 

1) Bigger bang for your advertising dollar: Many companies have the mistaken impression that aerial advertising is out of their financial reach. In reality, it can be cheaper than other forms of advertising, and more cost-effective in terms of its ability to reach so many people.  The number of impressions and reach is amplified significantly when you use this form of advertising at a televised event.

A four-hour airplane banner flight with a fixed-wing aircraft is a truly eye-catching and cost-effective way to get your message out to a large number of people.  

Airplane banner Manhattan

Want the maximum impact for your campaign?  This is where blimps rule.  Also known as "airships" they’re big, they’re eye catching and are without a doubt a phenomenal advertising buy.  For less than the cost of a 30-second ad during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” you’ll get far more eyeballs on your message.  Plus your prospects can’t TiVO out a message on an airship like they can a commercial.

In fact you could feasibly use a blimp for an entire month, hitting NFL games every weekend,  getting national on-screen exposure and still pay less for that single commercial. Furthermore, you’re flying all of the days in between, getting sky and ground exposure, giving passenger rides, and gaining coverage through local media.

Budweiser Blimp Tampa

2) A part of the action: Blimps offer a unique opportunity to partner with broadcasters that no other advertising medium can rival. Broadcasting major sporting or cultural events often requires aerial coverage. By way of example for the PGA, airships are the only way to get aerial shots. While you could get coverage from helicopters or airplanes, they’re too loud for golf tournaments.


These sophisticated airships come fitted with a very high-tech, high-definition broadcast quality camera system, which is linked to the ground. It sends images taken above a stadium or an event to a broadcaster’s production truck on the ground.

This allows for brand visibility overhead for those at a major stadium or event, PLUS it provides an on-screen presence for the advertiser. Generally, broadcasters will give a 10-second, live shot of the blimp coupled with verbal acknowledgement of the sponsor. It makes advertisers an integral part of the sporting event.

Snapple cape aerial beach banner

3) Effective exposure: Advertising in the sky helps businesses differentiate themselves from all of the other companies trying to get out their message. The effectiveness of traditional forms of advertising has certainly decreased over the past 15 years. Technology in the form of DVRs and TiVo has significantly reduced the effectiveness of the traditional 30-second TV spot as people are essentially fast-forwarding through ads.

It’s very difficult to know who’s actually looking at the ads that you spent hundreds of thousands of dollars placing on that TV show. Likewise, digital music distribution has created a more commercial-free experience with radio, and the value of print media advertising is eroding as people increasingly go online for content.

As a result of these changes, there are many benefits to using aerial advertising. It’s still rare to see an airplane banner flying across the sky, and even rarer to see a blimp. There’s a novelty to both strategies that consumers pay attention to, and they’re going to generate a lot of exposure to your brand. If there are 500,000 people attending an event, they will see a banner at least 10 times during a flight.  Not to mention the consumers reached via television coverage.

Using the sky as your canvas for your campaign messaging presents unique opportunities for businesses to increase their brand awareness and connect effectively with consumers. And, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity, as a campaign can be designed for whatever it is your business is trying to accomplish.

The best brand marketing campaigns incorporate this vibrant and effective advertising medium as a part of their cross channel strategy.  To see some of our "hall of fame" examples click here

Please share your company’s success stories with us.  If you’d like to learn how to plug in to this engaging channel just click below.

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 Want to learn more? Click below for our free guide!

why aerial advertising

Topics: Aerial Advertising